Sorry I’m late! I intended to keep up the Monday posts, but life got a bit busy, and trying to get this book redone and out to people is taking some time. Nearly to my second big milestone, and then I’ll start getting some critiques. Yay!
Going back through my cut scenes, I came across a blurb of backstory that seemed too good not to expand upon. Trent’s last relationship ended pretty bad, and Jason took to calling her the Heartless Harpy, hence the title. So without further ado, here’s a backstory scene from Call Her Forth:
The Heartless Harpy
Trent watched Angela studying, fingering the ring in his pocket. 3 years. That’s how long they’d been together, and he couldn’t imagine spending his life with anyone else.
He hopped up from the couch and went to her, hands rubbing her shoulders. “So tense. I know it’s finals, but you should take a break for a little.”
Angela groaned, shrugging off Trent’s hands. “It’s this biology test. I can’t seem to get everything straight in my head.”
She rolled her neck, and Trent frowned, flopping back onto the couch. “But you’re so good at all that.”
Angela sighed. “Not today.” She stood up, stretching her arms toward the ceiling, fingers dancing.
“Why don’t we grab dinner or something? You’ll feel better.” Angela didn’t turn, and Trent’s head cocked. “Is something wrong?”
Trent got up again, and wrapped his arms around her, but she wriggled free.
“Trent, stop. Please.”
“Okay. Seriously. What’s wrong?”
Angela’s arms wrapped around herself, and she shivered, though the only chill in the air was supplied by the air conditioner. “There’s something I should tell you.”
“What? Anything. I can take it.”
Angela shook her head, turning around but still unable to meet his gaze. “I—” She exhaled, closed her eyes, and tried again. “I’m moving.”
Trent’s brow creased. “Where? This is a great location. You’re right by the college and—”
“I’m not going across town. I’m going across the country.” Angela played with a loose curl, something she always did when she was feeling out of her element.
Those curls. Beautiful, frizzy, brown and springy. How many times had he run his fingers through those curls, pulled on them to watch them bounce back? “But why? You’ve only got a year left until you graduate.”
“There’s a really great program in California, and most of my credits will transfer.”
Trent exhaled, his cheeks puffed. “Well, it would have been nice if you’d given me a little more warning. I didn’t even know you were thinking of transferring. I don’t know how I’ll find a new job and—”
Trent fell silent, his hand wandering to his pocket again, the metal still warm. “Okay. I’m listening.”
“I’m going alone.”
Trent swallowed, clenching the ring. “But you don’t believe in long-distance relationships.”
Angela nodded. “That’s why I’m breaking up with you,” she whispered.
It felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. Trent closed his eyes, waiting for the terrible rush in the pit of his stomach to subside. It refused.
“I’m sorry,” she said, and Trent flinched. “I was going to wait to tell you until after finals, but it’s too stressful.”
“I thought we were good,” Trent said after finding his voice. “I thought we were a team.”
“Yes. Were. You and I have different goals. You’d be happy staying home for the rest of your life. I want to see the world. You want to wait until marriage. I . . .” Angela blushed, the soft pink of her cheeks making his heart beat faster and crushing it all at once.
Trent’s words choked, his voice coming out low and guttural. “Is there someone else?”
“No! No, nothing like that. I wouldn’t.”
“I already told you! Trust me. This is for the best. You’ll find a great girl one day, it’s just not me.”
Trent glanced at his pocket, his fist clamped around the ring making the fabric bulge. He considered making one last desperate attempt. She didn’t know he had the ring. She didn’t know he’d been waiting for weeks to find the perfect moment to propose. Maybe if she knew, she’d change her mind. Maybe . . .
The possibilities hung in the air, until he caught her eye again. There was no room there. She was gone. Checked out. How had he not seen that? Where did they go wrong? What happened?
Angela shrugged, a worried smile on her face.
Trent stalked out of the apartment, slamming the door behind him, even as Angela tried to reason with him. He stomped past his car and headed for the sidewalk. He needed to think. He wanted to scream, to cry, to beg, but he knew that wouldn’t change anything. Three years. That’s how much time he had wasted. Every stolen kiss, every argument they worked out, every red cent spent trying to take care of her, to make her happy—none of that mattered now.
He took the ring out of his pocket and looked at it. The diamonds sparkled in the low light of the setting sun. Every ounce of him wanted to chuck it, to do to it what she had done to him. He raised his fist, but brought it back down. No. She had cost him too much already. He would sell it. Get a dog. Take a trip. Something, anything, to prove to her—to him—that she had made a mistake.
He made a vow to himself right there. Every year, on his birthday, he plan to do something remarkable, something spectacular. He’d fight his way out of this mess. They’d all see. He wouldn’t be crushed by a girl who was so willing to just throw him away.
Trent knelt on the sidewalk, stuffing his knuckles in his mouth to stifle the sobs.